MLB Lockout Rumors: Regular Season Starting In April Not Considered Likely

More than three months have passed since MLB team owners unanimously voted to impose a lockout once the 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired.

It wasn’t until the end of February that MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) began meting regularly, but nine consecutive days of bargaining at Roger Dean Stadium failed to produce a new deal by the league’s self-imposed deadline.

That resulted in commissioner Rob Manfred canceling Opening Day and the first two series of the 2022 regular season. Since that time additional Spring Training games have been lopped off the schedule.

As MLB and the union continue meeting this week before yet another deadline, there isn’t much hope for a new CBA to be in place so that the season could begin in April, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:

Industry sources generally are not optimistic about the season getting underway in April.

If a new CBA is not agreed to by Tuesday’s deadline, MLB intends on canceling another week of regular season games. That additionally came with a warning the games would not be rescheduled and players wouldn’t receive full pay this year.

Timeline of MLB lockout

A quick resolution wasn’t expected given the animosity that had built up between the league and Players Association over the years, and that proved true as six weeks passed before the first proposal was made by either side.

After a handful of discussions once the calendar turned to 2021, MLB and the MLBPA began to meet more regularly the following month. While that was reason for optimism, a significant gap remained on key economic issues such as the competitive balance tax, pre-arbitration bonus pool and minimum salary.

Much of those disagreements still are hurdles that need to be cleared before a new CBA will be put into place.

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